Jon Gorga had a dinner of sugar, sugar, and more sugar last night and he has a few things to tell you...

So the second part of my exploration of comics in digital form isn't ready and has been delayed for a few days... In lieu, I give you this potpourri...

1. Clare and Josh are bound by the rules of humbleness and grace not to toot their own horn on the Bard College Comic Symposium coming tomorrow.

But I'm not.

I know for a fact that both Josh and Clare have worked like crazy to assure that the almost day-long event will go off without a hitch. Here's a breakdown of the presenters:

Nicki France is among the most intelligent, sweet, creative, softspoken but highly opinionated people I know. She was doing research a few months ago on examples of Chinese calligraphy in American comics. (I sent her some stuff that hopefully helped out a bit.) That research combined with her voracious interest in all kinds of comics and her interest in Asian studies (most specifically the Chinese language) is going to pay off for all of us in her presentation on the calligraphic arts as filtered through the comics medium.

Senia Hardwick is a close personal friend of mine and I stress that she is a close personal friend for one specific reason: she is a mad scientist and someday may make a bid for world domination and if she wins, I'd like to be on the lower end of the scale of torment. Her status as a supervillain-in-training who has studied psychology and pharmacology makes her particularly perfect to present on the different manifestations and possible real-world application of the Batman villain Scarecrow's fear gas.

Molly Ostertag is a Bard College freshman who will talk about her own comics work and about the medium of comics itself. She is the only presenter I have never met so there is little I can say about her but I do know that the presentations by actual comicsmiths have always been among the highlights of these Symposiums. I've heard her work is wonderful.

The Long and Shortbox Of It!'s
Josh Kopin has been invited to give his presentation from last year's Symposium on the political and symbolic implications of Ed Brubaker's (still continuing) run on "Captain America" at C2E2 in Chicago NEXT WEEK! The mix of his love for "the Immortal Iron Fist" with his recent growing interest in the various forms comics takes and his new concept of differing styles as a narrative tool promise to come together for a presentation as unique and exciting as last year's.

and The Long and Shortbox Of It!'s
Clare Nolan began research many months ago on the Freudian implications of the darkness of the Dark Knight as a diametrical opposite to the brightness of his Rogue's Gallery and both in light of Frued's concept of 'the uncanny,' i.e. the familiar made unfamiliar, most often through mirroring and doubles. As a Batman fan, we know Clare's going to give us something respectful, and as a brilliant* writer, we know we're getting something rigorous and fascinating.

Prof. Ben Stevens has probably held for quite some time the position of The Smartest Guy I Know. Recently published in the online academic journal ImageText, with a paper on the topic of the self-aware nature of Craig Thompson's "Blankets" which was largely built from work he presented on at last year's Symposium. His new presentation on 'semiotics and ethics' in Alan Moore's "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" will no doubt be as crazy and brilliant as his past work.

Chris Claremont is... well a very famous writer who made the X-Men what they are just after he graduated from Bard College in 1972. And then continued to write them for seventeen years. He's also a friendly guy and a genuinely interesting writer. Securing him to talk for this event was quite a coup and it's going to be very, very cool!

If you can, you should be at the Bito Auditorium, in the Reem-Kayden Center for Science and Computation, on the Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY on Saturday at 3PM.

By the way, it's free!

But if you really can't be at the Bard College campus on Saturday at 3PM...

2. ...and you live in the vaguely reachable area around New York City, you better damn well be at the 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue for the annual MoCCA Festival. It's my favorite comics-event of the year. The number of cool things to see and cool people to meet never ceases to amaze, while remaining at an amount that you're actually capable of experiencing in the time the event lasts! The mega-huge giganta-cons like NY COMIC-CON haven't seemed to figure that out or don't seem to care.

Look up the details here on the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's page devoted to the festival.

One of my favorite people to see at MoCCA every year is...

3. Monica Gallagher. Monica created a comic a few years ago called "boobage" that is so many kinds of excellent I can't begin to tell you. It's a wonderful short comic about growing-up that shows how comics can be a fantastic presentation of a singular concept and a singular vision clearly dramatized on the page. I had the opportunity to meet her for the second time recently at a small signing of women comicsmiths at Jim Hanley's Universe and as I awkwardly stammered about how awesome her work is (and struggled to hear what she was saying because my damned right ear has been nearly deaf for four days from my seasonal allergies) we talked about "Boobage", how excellent MoCCA is, the awesome/discouraging possible future world of digital comics, and her latest offering: "When I Was a Mall Model". Seeing Monica made me feel a bit better about missing MoCCA this year! So thanks for that!

Hey Bard students who liked "Boobage"! I'm coming to Bard and I'm only bringing one comic: "When I Was a Mall Model".
(Which is essentially a kina-sorta-defacto sequel to "Boobage".) Ask me to see it!

Monica's website is

*I don't believe Clare Nolan is brilliant because she's my girlfriend. Clare Nolan is my girlfriend because I believe she's brilliant. I think if you hear her speak, you will agree with me.

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